Posts

Collaborative Law Rules at Florida Supreme Court

Collaborative Law Rules Approved by Florida Supreme Court

On May 18, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court published an opinion approving collaborative law rules.  The collaborative law rules are the last step necessary before Florida’s Collaborative Law Process Act goes into effect.

The opinion approves Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-1.19 and Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.745.

Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-1.19

Florida Bar Rule 4-1.19 is a rule of professional conduct.  It creates certain obligations of attorneys representing clients within the collaborative process.  Among other things, the rule requires collaborative lawyers to do the following when contemplating collaborative practice with a client:

  • Provide sufficient information about the benefits and risks of the collaborative process;
  • Explain alternatives to the collaborative process, including litigation and mediation;

Read more

Collaborative Divorce in Tampa Bay

What Is Next Generation Divorce?

If you have done internet searches for collaborative divorce in Tampa Bay or Greater Sarasota, you have likely come across the website for Next Generation Divorce (you can find the link here).  Next Generation Divorce has many members who are family law attorneys, but it is not a law firm.  It has members who are psychologists, licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and social workers, but it is not a therapy-related organization.  And it has members who are financial planners and C.P.A.’s, but it is not a financial planning or accounting firm.

Next Generation Divorce

Member of Next Generation Divorce

So what is Next Generation Divorce?

Read more

Cordover Keynotes Panama City Collaborative Meeting

On April 21, 2017, Tampa Bay family attorney Adam B. Cordover provided a keynote address at the annual meeting of the Northwest Florida Collaborative Law Group in Panama City.  Adam spoke on the topic of “Growing Your Collaborative Practice: Doing Well By Doing Good.”

Attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals from Panama City, Tallahassee, and as far away as Pensacola attended the meeting.

Here is a description of the program (And a copy of the flyer here):

Read more

Video: Hiring A Collaborative Divorce Lawyer

In Tampa Bay and Greater Sarasota, you have a lot of choices when determining who should be your divorce lawyer.  You may have already figured out that your best, least destructive path is via collaborative practice, where you and your spouse work together to ensure your kids and finances survive the divorce.  But how do you choose which attorney to hire to represent you in a collaborative divorce?

The video below, from Reel Lawyers, discusses the importance of hiring an attorney who specializes in collaborative practice.

Read more

Financial Advisers Learn About Collaborative Divorce

Financial advisers are tasked with protecting their clients’ wealth.  And financial advisers want to help clients going through divorce make smart decisions and preserve their assets.  On December 8, 2016, the professionals and staff of the Sabal Trust Company in St. Petersburg, Florida, learned how collaborative divorce can safeguard their clients’ wealth, time, and privacy.

Discussing Collaborative Divorce

Sarah Hoerber, Tanya O’Connor, and Adam B. Cordover at Sabal Trust Company

Sabal Trust is the largest employee-owned trust company in Florida, and its Principals and staff are invested in creating a strategic approach to its clients financial security and growth. That is why they invited Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover along with forensic accountant Sarah Hoerber and Brandon attorney Tanya O’Connor to discuss collaborative divorce.

Read more

Four Questions to Ask a Collaborative Divorce Lawyer

More and more people are deciding that they want to avoid the traditional adversarial divorce court system and instead handle their family law matter privately and respectfully via the collaborative process.  In collaborative divorce, each spouse receives independent legal advice from his or her own attorney, and the attorneys are retained solely for the purpose of reaching an out-of-court agreement.  Oftentimes, experts will be brought in to help with parenting or financial issues.

As collaborative divorce is becoming more popular and since Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the Collaborative Law Process Act in March 2016, more attorneys who are steeped in the old system of divorce court are now advertising that they offer collaborative services.  The issue is that the skillset needed to successfully help clients reach dignified agreements in collaborative practice is very different than the skillset needed to be an aggressive trial lawyer.

Below are four questions you should ask any attorney you are interviewing to possibly represent you in the collaborative divorce process.

Read more

Audio: Next Generation Divorce’s Derek Lucas Radio Interview

Next Generation Divorce Co-Chair Derek Lucas recently appeared on WDUV 105.5 FM’s Sunday Morning, a news and public affairs program of Cox Media Group hosted by Mimi Lawson.  WDUV (also known as The Dove) covers New Port Richey and Tampa Bay in the Gulf Coast of Florida.

NGD Bubble Quote Logo 2

Derek went on the program to discuss collaborative divorce, a private, respectful alternative to traditional courtroom divorce.  In collaborative divorce, both spouses retain their own attorneys, and the attorneys focus solely on helping the spouses reach an out-of-court parenting plan and marital settlement agreement.  This means that no time, money, or energy is wasted on opposition research, motion practice, or trial preparation.

Oftentimes, a neutral facilitator with a license in counseling or therapy is retained to help the spouses focus on what is most important to them (such as the health and well-being of their children) rather than the arguments of the past.  Further, a financial professional is many times used to ensure financial transparency between the spouses and to help develop a plan for support and the division of assets and debts that is personally tailored for the family.

You can find the sixteen minute interview after the jump:

Read more

Jennifer Gunnin: Working With A Peacemaking Collaborative Attorney

My paralegal, Jennifer Gunnin, has now been with my firm for over 3 years.  She was with me when I was still accepting litigation work, and so she saw the toll that lengthy, nasty court battles had on divorcing spouses and their children.

And she has seen the transition of my practice.  In July of last year (2015), on the fifth anniversary of my shingle being hung, we changed the name of the business from The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., to Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm.  Further, we pledged that we would not take on any new litigation cases, and that we would focus exclusively on helping clients resolve their family law matters outside of court via collaborative practice, mediation, and unbundled legal services (we also offer adoption and name change legal services).

Jennifer-2774-Edit

Since we shifted our focus to private dispute resolution, Jennifer attended a two-day basic collaborative training (one that is usually reserved for attorneys, financial professionals, and mental health professionals) so that she could better understand the process and help our clients who are utilizing the collaborative process.

One day, my office received a call from Forrest (Woody) Mosten, an internationally acclaimed mediator and collaborative attorney from California, about an American Bar Association book that he and I are co-authoring on Building A Collaborative Law Practice.  Jennifer picked up the phone, and they talked about the new focus of our firm, her training, and what it was like to work in a newly courtless practice.  Woody suggested that she write an article on Working With A Peacemaking Collaborative Attorney.

And so she did.

You can find her article published at The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, part of which is published below the jump.

Read more

Video: Child Wants Divorcing Parents to be Friends

When most people go through divorce, they are consumed by their emotions.  No matter how you look at it, divorce is a trauma.  However, people oftentimes forget how the divorce is affecting children.  And they forget that children are keenly aware of how parents treat one another during divorce.

A video that has been going around the internet lately shows a little girl talking to her mom about how she wants her divorcing parents to be friends and treat each other well.  You can find the video after the jump.

Read more

Collabortive Professionals Honor Florida Legislators

Two hundred members of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“FACP”) gathered in Tampa to honor Florida legislators and others for their leadership in passing the Collaborative Law Process Act (“CLPA”).  The CLPA, among other things, protects the privacy of families going through divorce.  It creates a statutory privilege (like the attorney-client privilege) that, except under limited circumstances, ensures that what is said during a collaborative divorce process cannot be used against a spouse in court.

In 2016, Senator Tom Lee introduced the CLPA bill in the Florida Senate.  Representative Cyndi Stevenson, with the support of Representative Dana Young, introduced a version in Florida’s House of Representatives.  All three were given awards by Florida’s statewide collaborative organization for helping to protect Florida’s families via the CLPA.

 

 

Pictured, from left to right, are Senator Tom Lee, Cole Jeffries, Robert Merlin, Judge Laurel Lee, Representative Dana Young, and Representative Cyndi Stevenson.

Read more